The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: Olive Blackburn’s “Communism is up there and we are down here but it is happening now”

Blackburn Photo

come prepared for the conflict you wish to see
be there at 11pm, wear black, and come alone

Be there or be done
Be there or be had
Be there or be sublimated
Be there or be rectangular
Be there or be merely ontic
Be there or be slain
Be there or be closer to death
Be there or be more hollowly alive
Be there or be sprayed with semen
Be there or be bitten by thousands of invisible fleas
Be there or be holed up in your phantasm of an existence
Be there or be trapped under a pile of rubble that
escaped from your nightmare and landed full force on
your feeble skeleton
Be there or be devoured by mosquito-shaped blood-
extraction machines that suck what is decent and
hopeful about life into cold vials
Be there or be fore your time, we did all of this
except faster and harder
Be there or be rotten to the absent core
Be there or be a sad pass for a prodigal daughter
Be there or be confirmed as a member of the
regressive faction
Be there or be non-being
Be there or be what you have always have been
Be there or be tossed onto the scrap pile of history
Be there or be persona non grata in the fullest sense
of the term
Be there or be cooked in a thick broth
Be there or be Steve’s administrative assistant

This selection comes from Olive Blackburn’s book Communism is up there and we are down here but it is happening now, available from Timeless, Infinite Light. Purchase your copy here!

Olive Blackburn is a dancer, writer, and communist from Northern California. She is a doctoral candidate at UCLA in dance history. She lives between Oakland and Los Angeles.

T.A. Noonan is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently The Midway Iterations (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2015), Fall (Lucky Bastard Press, 2015), and The Ep[is]odes: a reformulation of Horace (Noctuary Press, 2016). Her work has appeared in Reunion: The Dallas Review, Menacing Hedge, LIT, West Wind Review, Ninth Letter, Phoebe, and others. A weightlifter, artist, teacher, priestess, and all-around woman of action, she is the Vice President and Associate Editor of Sundress Publications.

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